The Wilderness
Explosions in the Sky - The Wilderness
Critic Score
Based on 20 reviews
2016 Ratings: #326 / 754
User Score
Based on 138 ratings
2016 Ratings: #311
April 1, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Temporary Residence / Label
Post-Rock / Genres
Suggest a Genre
Abuse of this feature may prevent future contributions from your account.
Your Review


The Skinny
A beautiful record; you just wish the vocabulary existed to do it justice.
The Line of Best Fit

A current of vitality and renewal lights up The Wilderness. Here, finally, is the next phase for Explosions in the Sky. The album is thrillingly foreign yet familiar in its finest moments.

Don’t let the band’s recent output fool you into looking past this…it is quite plainly a must hear post-rock album in a time when such important and relevant post-rock music is an endangered kind.
Consequence of Sound

For a group whose bread and butter has until now been the musical equivalent of a whisper building to an H-bomb explosion over the course of twelve minutes, The Wilderness proves that Explosions in the Sky aren’t stuck in any creative rut.

A.V. Club

Wilderness reimagines the calling cards of the band. All, that is, except for one: EITS still knows how to craft a beautiful atmosphere that demands to soundtrack something.

It's a quietly masterful, emotionally rich work. Of all their records, it's ultimately the one that sounds the most like the image their band name evokes.

On The Wilderness, Explosions in the Sky deconstruct and rebuild their sound from the ground up, giving it a revitalized sense of urgency and resulting in some of their most dynamic work yet.

The Guardian
It works ... because the melodies are as strong as ever, and among the darker shades, the lighter moments wallop home.

They’ve retained this emotional resonance by remembering that it’s not just explosive crescendos that matter, but the small stuff too.

Entertainment Weekly

A record that sounds less like the remaking they billed it as and more like an explorative sidestep.

Pretty Much Amazing

Of all of Explosions’ studio albums, this is the one that sounds most like a score, even if it has components that would never appear in a score. It lacks the game-changing element of The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place or Those Who Tell the Truth. Instead of pushing into new universes, they’re content to find a quiet corner in one they’ve already built.


There aren’t many explosions here, but there’s plenty of dynamic songwriting, which is more than enough for a rewarding listening experience.

Drowned in Sound

Explosions In the Sky still retain their vitality in strong melody and melodramatic disposition, it’s just at times you wish they were a little more daring.

Rolling Stone

There are times when this stuff can feel like precious melodrama. But if it hits you in the right mood of pillowy existential bumfuzzlement, its power to distract and even transport is pretty undeniable.

Under The Radar

After a decade and a half, and now seven studio albums and counting, Explosions in the Sky proves it still has what it takes to deliver a stunningly deep and textured album.


While it features some of Explosions' most exploratory music to date, the record is dragged down by passages that, despite the astro-nautical theme of the track titles, occasionally fail to reach the stratospheric heights Explosions are known for.

Loud and Quiet
After sixteen years of creating a beautiful kind of emotional ambiguity, this time there’s just indifference.

‘The Wilderness’ ... is Explosions hitting autopilot when they enter uncharted airspace, rather than exploring the potentially limitless universe beyond.

Dec 20, 2017
Worth a listen
Dec 11, 2016
Beautiful, vibrant, and unique. Very powerful instrumental music on this record, excellent work from Explosions in the Sky. The percussion and rhythm on this album is really incredible.
Jun 24, 2016
Though this album required a few listens before reviewing. They continue to create thought provoking post rock. The surprising traditional some structure that is very prevalent on this album just goes to show that something so foreign for this band could still produce awesome moments. An atmospheric love story.
Jun 8, 2016
A decent effort by Explosions but lacks the characteristics that made some of their earlier albums so great. The best way to describe this would be a soundtrack to a pre and or post apocalyptic movie but with many glimpses of a better future.
May 10, 2016
The Wilderness is a album that you can listen to with no difficulties and you appreciate the moments it gives you. However, I feel underwhelmed when I compare it to other instrumental post-rock records I have heard in the last few years. It is a solid record but it lacks ambition.
Purchasing The Wilderness from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?
Track List
  1. Wilderness
  2. The Ecstatics
  3. Tangle Formations
  4. Logic of a Dream
  5. Disintegration Anxiety
  6. Losing the Light
  7. Infinite Orbit
  8. Colors in Space
  9. Landing Cliffs

Added on: January 11, 2016